WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 2, 2020
TOPIC: BEWARE, DECEIVERS WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU LIKE TO HEAR!
BY T. O. BANSO
“After four years, Absalom said to the king, ‘Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the LORD in fulfillment of a vow I made to him. For while I was at Geshur, I promised to sacrifice to him in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem.’ ‘All right,’ the king told him. ‘Go and fulfill your vow’” (2 Samuel 15:7-9 New Living Translation).
Deceitful people sometimes use what their victims like to deceive them. For example, they tell them what they like and they tend to believe them. They get carried away by their lies. What do you like? Is it prayer, praise, power, or any other thing? Be careful that deceitful people don’t use it to exploit you.
David had a heart for God. His son, Absalom, who was plotting a rebellion, knew his father very well. Therefore, he deceived him by giving him the impression he was also a lover of God!
Four years after he had returned to Jerusalem from exile that he had fled to after killing his half brother, the eldest of David’s son, Jonadab, he lied to his father. 2 Samuel 15:7-9 says, “After four years, Absalom said to the king, ‘Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the LORD in fulfillment of a vow I made to him. For while I was at Geshur, I promised to sacrifice to him in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem.’ ‘All right,’ the king told him. ‘Go and fulfill your vow’” (New Living Translation).
He knew that David, as a lover of God, would give him permission to travel if he gave the redemption of a vow he had made as the reason for going to Hebron. He, therefore, lied to him that he wanted to go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the LORD in fulfillment of a vow he made to Him that he would sacrifice to Him in Hebron if he would bring him back to Jerusalem. There was no such vow. It was part of his game plan to perfect his revolt against his father.
“And the king said to him, ‘Go in peace.’ So he arose and went to Hebron. Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, ‘As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron!’ And with Absalom went two hundred men invited from Jerusalem, and they went along innocently and did not know anything. Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city-from Giloh-while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom continually increased in number. Now a messenger came to David, saying, ‘The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom’” (2 Samuel 15:9-13 New King James Version).
The revolt succeeded. He seized power from his father. David and his loyalists had to flee Jerusalem. Absalom was in charge for a period until his rebellion was put down and he was killed in the process.
Absalom deceived his father. He knew his father’s heart for God and told him what he would like to hear. He knew David would not joke about paying his vow, because that was something he would have done if he were in his shoes.
In Psalm 56, which David is believed to have written regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath, he said in verses 12-13, “I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light” (New Living Translation).
Earlier in Psalm 22:25, he had said, “I will praise you among all the people; I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you” (New Living Translation).
Absalom knew David would be comfortable with his reason for going to Hebron. I also think David could have had a sentimental attachment to Hebron. David had been king in Hebron over the house of Judah for seven years and six months (2 Samuel 2:11). That was before he became the king of the entire nation of Israel, captured Jerusalem, and made it his capital (1 Chronicles 11:4-9).
Deceivers will seek to manipulate or take advantage of you, using what you like, or are emotionally attached to. If you love prayer, sports, children, etc, they may use any of these against you. Be careful. Don’t be carried away. Listen to what they’ve said and what they’ve not said. They may have a hidden agenda or ulterior motive. Don’t just read between the lines, listen to the Holy Spirit.
Beware! Isaac was deceived because of his love for meat from the field. He had suspected a foul play because the meat was brought to him earlier than normal. “Then Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.’ So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau’” (Genesis 27:21-22).
He knew something was wrong and still asked him if he was really his son, Esau. Despite these doubts, he still went ahead to bless the deceiver, Jacob, because of the meat he had brought for him to eat.
Be careful! Don’t let your enemies use your strength or love against you. Don’t let your strength become your weakness! Beware, deceivers will tell you what you like to hear!
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, expose every deceit around me. Let the enemy not succeed in using what Iike or I am emotionally attached to, to catch me. Grant me spiritual sensitivity to detect the enemy’s deceit.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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